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Top 10 UK Stories of 2011: #3, James Dempsey Wins WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic

James Dempsey (Photo: World Poker Tour)

They say one good turn deserves another and that seemed to be the case for James "Flushy" Dempsey who headed out to Las Vegas as a favour to his friend Chris Moorman and came back home with a World Poker Tour title and $821,612 richer.

Moorman needed someone to go pick up some money from a safe deposit as he was deep in the PokerStars EPT Prague Main Event and Dempsey answered the call. Whilst in Sin City Dempsey noticed the WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic was taking place and decided to pay the $10,000 entry fee, as you do on a whim!

At the end of five gruelling days of poker Dempsey had reached the six-handed final table and what a final table it was. Keeping Dempsey company were Vitor Coelho, former November Nine member Soi Nguyen, Antonio Esfandiari, Andrew "Lucky Chewy" Lichtenberger and Vanessa Selbst.

WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic Final Table

SeatNameChips
1James Dempsey3,725,000
2Vitor Coelho550,000
3Antonio Esfaniari1,245,000
4Andrew Lichtenberger3,595,000
5Vanessa Selbst2,485,000
6Soi Nguyen4,925,000

One by one the table of stars were being whittled away until Dempsey found himself heads-up with Nguyen holding a narrow 8,320,000 to 8,225,000 chip lead. With the average stack being 103 big blinds it was no surprise that it took over two hours for the champion to be crowned, two hours of exciting one-on-one action that saw the chip lead swap hands on numerous occasions and it should be a good spectacle once the televised show airs in the States and around the world.

The final hand was the 126th hand of the final table and it went a little something like this. The blinds were 75,000/150,000/25,000a and Dempsey min-raised to 300,000 on the button only to see Nguyen move all in for 3,600,000 in total. Dempsey quickly called and both players flipped over their cards;

Dempsey{K-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}
Nguyen{K-Clubs}{J-Diamonds}

Dempsey had Nguyen dominated but the hand was turned onto its heads when the flop came down {J-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{6-Clubs}. The {4-Hearts} on the turn failed to alter anything and it looked like Nguyen was going to help himself to a massive chip lead that was until the {10-Diamonds} on the river completed a straight for the Brit and the title was his!

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Final Table Results

SeatNamePrize
1James Dempsey$821,612
2Soi Nguyen$517,478
3Vanessa Selbst$338,351
4Andrew Lichtenberger$218,933
5Vitor Coelho$159,224
6Antonio Esfandiari$119,418

The mixed game specialist now has the chance to become a Triple Crown winner in 2012 if he takes down a European Poker Tour Main Event because now Dempsey holds a WPT title and World Series of Poker bracelet. Can he join the likes of fellow Brits Roland de Wolfe and Jake Cody as British Triple Crown winners? Maybe Moorman could ask him for a favour that puts his friend in a country where an EPT is taking place!

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